News & Analysis


    As another scampaign is exposed, Indiegogo again refuses to act

    For anyone who followed our reporting reporting on Indiegogo’s Healbe scampaign, you need to go to The Next Web right now and read Martin Bryant’s teardown of the Ritot projection watch project, also on Indiegogo. To Bryan’s credit, he acknowledges that his publication had initially plugged the campaign, fooled by yet another attention grabbing idea that turned out to be dishonest bullshit on closer comparison. Ritot’s quirk is that it is a smart watch that literally projects the…
  3. secret

    Investors have to stop trying to justify the lies and libel of Secret

    In the last few months, I’ve spoken to two groups of people about Secret. The first group are investors who I respect very much who have either invested in Secret or tried to. Each time they’ve tried to justify their investment by explaining how it’s actually a good thing that there’s a service with the sole goal of allowing people to be totally unaccountable for what they say publicly. The second—larger – group consists major CEOs and investors in…
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    Imagine how Gawker would react if your startup said any of the idiotic things their boss just said

    Valleywag, Gawker’s blog about Silicon Valley (but written from New York), is famous for two things. The first is driving easy pageviews by mocking the delusional, buzzword-laden bullshit that spews readily from a certain type of Valley entrepreneur. The second is grotesque hypocrisy: I’ve written before about how Gawker’s staffers attack the wealthy elites of Silicon Valley, despite the fact that their boss is a hugely wealthy tech mogul who based the company off-shore to avoid tax, is
  5. A booking photo of Colorado shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes is shown in this handout supplied by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office in Centennial, Colorado

    America’s most infamous murderers apparently filed this handwritten motion in Valley wage-fixing suit

    If you thought the Techtopus Silicon Valley wage fixing scandal, and ensuing settlement, couldn’t get any more grotesque… you ain’t read nothing yet. Late yesterday, a handwritten “motion to intervene” document was entered into the public record, purporting to be from Pennsylvania prison inmate Christopher Donnelly, and signed by a group of America’s most infamous murderers. The scrawled letter, embedded below, cites “newly discovered evidence” in the wage fixing scandal and asks that the following people be permitted to intervene…
  7. the-fog-of-twitter

    The gov’t asks Twitter for more data than ever, but still won’t let it disclose national security requests

    Today, Twitter published its fifth-ever transparency report, detailing the number and nature of government requests it receives. These demands include requests for user data, content removal, and copyright notices. Between January and June of this year, the report notes, Twitter received 2,058 requests for account information, a 46 percent increase over the previous six months. Over half of these requests (1257) came from the US government, and Twitter complied with these orders 72 percent of the time. By comparison, between…
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    Whisper EIC: “It’s not important if a story’s real, the only thing that really matters is whether people click on it”

    “If a person is not sharing a news story, it is, at its core, not news.” That quote comes from Neetzan Zimmerman, editor-in-chief at Whisper and ex-Gawker blogger extraordinaire who once accounted for 85 percent of the latter site’s daily content. He appeared on the Daily Show last night for a segment about how traditional journalism has given way to viral clickbait offering little in the way of substantial reporting or analysis — like this video of…
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    So what do we make of ManServants, the “Uber of hot dudes?”

    So ManServants. In case you’re not tapped into the tech Twitter outrage cycle, ManServants is a new service that will deliver a handsome man to do your every bidding — well, as long as it’s “PG-rated” the site’s cofounder tells Mashable. These aren’t strippers or escorts, she assures. They are perfect gentlemen that will wait on you hand-and-foot — no other appendages needed. The site’s notion of an ideal ManServant experience might involve, for example, a hot…
  11. Polling Station

    More than a data play: SwagBucks acquires SodaHead polling platform to drive customer acquisition

    Data is the undisputed currency of the consumer Web. Whether it’s used to target ads or to personalize product recommendations every giant from Google to Facebook to Amazon relies on data to drive its user experience and fill its bank accounts. It’s little surprise then that Prodege, the parent company to the popular consumer rewards and commerce platform SwagBucks, is making a play to increase its access to data. The company is acquiring polling technology startup SodaHead, which…
  12. IT Network

    IT’s best friend: PagerDuty raises $27.2M Series B to help all companies manage infrastructure like Amazon

    Managing IT infrastructure, be it hardware or software, is no longer confined to just so-called technology companies. In today’s age, nearly every company in the world relies on technology to run its business. And with the rise of the cloud, virtualization, and mobile, these systems and software are more distributed, operate at greater scale, and change more frequently than ever before. The result is an increasingly complex task of managing this infrastructure. “When an ops team is fighting a crisis,…
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    Attackers have breached Tor’s system to reveal the identities of its users

    Tor, a network used by people to cloak their identities and Internet activities, published a blog post today stating that attackers had breached its system in an apparent attempt to de-anonymize users. The breach occurred between January 30 of this year and July 4, and Tor advises that anybody who used its “hidden services” during that time may have been “affected” — though it’s unsure exactly what “affected” means. It’s unlikely, a Tor blogger writes, that the attackers were able to view…
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    My Big Break: How Brian Lee cold-called Robert Shapiro and turned him into a co-founder

    Today we dig back into the Pando archives for another legal story. Last year, during his PandoMonthly interview, Brian Lee — co-founder of LegalZoom, ShoeDazzle, and The Honest Co. — told Sarah Lacy about the time he decided to cold-call star lawyer Robert Shapiro to ask if he’d be a spokesperson for the then-fledgling LegalZoom. Lee and his partners knew that asking Americans to trust a company they’d never heard of with their bank information, credit card information, mortgage information……

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    Indiegogo hits absurd low with campaign to find missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

    In the wake of the now four-months-missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370, conspiracy theories have hit strange heights. Shakira and Pitbull were even alleged to hold a key to it all, when a few months back Internet alarmists found close parallels between the plane’s disappearance in early March and the lyrics of their 2012 duet ‘Get it Started.’ Now, if the general sense of “well if only someone were really trying to find out the truth” that fuels casual barstool pondering…
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    Nukes of Hazard

    “On January 25, 1995, at 9:28 A.M. Moscow time, an aide handed a briefcase to Boris Yeltsin… A small light near the handle was on, and inside was a screen displaying information indicating that a missile had been launched four minutes earlier from somewhere in the vicinity of the Norwegian Sea, and that it appeared to be headed toward Moscow. Below the screen was a row of buttons. This was the Russian “nuclear football…”  — The New Yorker
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    Keith Alexander and Pierre Omidyar have both realized that security sells

    Remember that old Bill Hicks routine about how both “sides” in the grand American political debate are actually puppets on each hand of the same puppeteer? Here’s a fun story that’ll remind you why Hicks is so dearly missed. Keith Alexander is the former (that is, recently retired) head of the National Security Agency. Earlier this week, Alexander was back in the news having apparently developed and patented “a new technology, based on a patented and ‘unique’ approach to detecting…
  20. Cash Only

    Startups Anonymous: My Startup Was Failing Because I Was Solving a Big Problem That No One Would Pay For

    Just because I had a great idea that could change the world doesn’t mean people will pay for it. This was the lesson I learned which I want to share. Two years ago, I quit my well-paying stable government job to build my startup – an idea that I believed could end online piracy. I trudged on for months – got great exposure and affirmation that it was a brilliant idea that could save music, books, and film from piracy.


The Week in Review